India Proposes Fresh Guidelines For Onshore Wind Energy Projects

The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued draft guidelines for the installation of onshore wind energy turbines.

The new regulations will make sweeping changes in the guidelines issued in 1996. The regulations have been updated in order to attract new turbine makers and investors.

The guidelines have done away with the mandatory certification of wind turbines by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE). Project developers shall be able to use any turbine certified by an internationally recognised body.

Some of the specific changes proposed in the new guidelines are that distance between two turbines should at least 3 times the rotor diameter and that the capacity utilization should not be less than 20% in any case. Distance between two rows of wind turbine towers should be at least 5 times the rotor diameter, so the performance of the machines is not affected.

Wind energy turbines shall be subjected to real-time and continuous monitoring. This will enable the project operator and grid operator implement forecasting and scheduling of power. The ministry also proposes to all developers to implement other renewable energy technologies with wind energy turbines for form hybrid projects; implementation of energy storage technologies shall also be allowed under this proposal.

These proposals come weeks after the ministry announced that the total wind energy capacity addition during financial year 2015-16 beat the target of 2.4 GW by more than 1 GW. Market stakeholders have already expressed their apprehensions regarding the sustainability of this growth rate as some crucial financial incentives are set to expire at the end of the current financial year. The government has sought to create new opportunities to engage and keep investors interested in the Indian wind energy market.

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